FEATURED ARTICLES

DB Cooper At 50

Posted by Charles Kennedy on

50 years ago, on November 24 1971, a Boeing 727 of Northwest Orient Airlines flying from Portland to Seattle was hijacked by a man who had what looked like a bomb in his briefcase, whose ticket was issued to a Dan Cooper, later universally known as DB Cooper due to a mistake by a local reporter.

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History Special: five decades of the 747 at British Airways

Posted by Charles Kennedy on

    British Airways was formed by the March 1974 merger of Britain’s two state-owned flag carriers — BEA (British European Airways) which covered short and medium haul trips with an entirely British-built fleet of Tridents, BAC-111s, Viscounts and Vanguards, and BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) which flew intercontinental with a fleet of British-built VC-10s and American Boeing 707s.   BOAC were considering all options including the stretched Douglas DC-8-63 and Vickers’ homegrown Super-Super VC-10, a reimagined Super VC-10 that never left the drawing board. Factors that influenced BOAC towards the Boeing 747 were the obvious savings to be achieved...

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MANCHESTER INTERNATIONAL WITH A PA-28

Posted by Charles Kennedy on

Flew a PA-28 to Manchester on Saturday afternoon for an event in the Concorde hangar on Sunday. Handling on the ground and cost was the big issue. Signature wanted £800 which was about what I expected and way out of my price range, second call was to Weston who could do it for £250 through the passenger terminal instead of a dedicated VIP facility. Still big bucks but I had 80kg of books to sell which would cost quite a bit on BA who only have two flights a day and timings are hopeless so I took the plunge with...

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FLYING A JET PROVOST (AND WRAPPING UP INSTRUCTOR’S RATING)

Posted by Charles Kennedy on

Long (8 minute) read. Big week for flying. On Tuesday I had the assessment for my flying instructor’s rating, which I’ve been working on since January. Assessment is supposed to be an all-dayer, in which I teach the examiner (who pretends to be an error-prone student) one of the 20 exercises that make up the Private Pilot’s Licence syllabus (effects of controls, turning, slow flight etc) including preflight classroom briefing and air work. While still in the air, I also have to teach a couple of compulsory items including a forced landing without power (PFL) and engine failure after takeoff...

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STS-135 and the USA’s return to space

Posted by Charles Kennedy on

Big weekend for space exploration coming. I’m super excited about the Space X/NASA Crew Dragon launch, the USA’s first crewed spaceship to fly since the last Shuttle launch, STS-135 Atlantis, on July 8, 2011.

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